The narration by Richard Dreyfuss worked well, but Lee Clow had another idea.
What if Jobs did the voice-over himself? “You really believe this,” Clow told him.
“You should do it.” So Jobs sat in a studio, did a few takes, and soon produced a
voice track that everyone liked. The idea was that, if they used it, they would not
tell people who was speaking the words, just as they didn’t caption the iconic pictures.
Eventually people would figure out it was Jobs. “This will be really powerful to
have it in your voice,” Clow argued. “It will be a way to reclaim the brand.”
Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with
Dreyfuss. Finally, the night came when they had to ship the ad; it was due to air,
appropriately enough, on the television premiere of Toy Story. As was often the
case, Jobs did not like to be forced to make a decision. He told Clow to ship both
versions; this would give him until the morning to decide. When morning came,
Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when
people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”
Ever since he left the apple commune, Jobs had defined himself, and by extension
Apple, as a child of the counterculture. In ads such as “Think Different” and “1984,”
he positioned the Apple brand so that it reaffirmed his own rebel streak, even after
he became a billionaire, and it allowed other baby boomers and their kids to do the
same. “From when I first met him as a young guy, he’s had the greatest intuition